On Sea Urchins and Nudists, Croatia
The road to Krk Island from Budapest ushered us so smoothly through the green valleys, creamy white cliffs, viaducts, and islands, and into the Adriatic Sea. Croatia is an archipelago of thousands of islands produced by the powerful force (among others) of the subduction of the Adria microplate into the massive Eurasian plate. (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=50025) The great drama at a geologic scale, and that of the nation’s history is being witnessed and perhaps being healed by the relentless sea.
I walked down the quiet and bare dirt-road away from the many tourists lounging in town and on the beaches. An unassuming sign on a modest gate says "Naturist.” I reassessed myself for a moment and scanned my being quickly but thoroughly. I found that there is nothing in my soul that prevented me from crossing that gate. From a world full of judging, political drama, and comparisons, I have yearned to just surrender to that place. Without the weight of clothes, of any clothes.
The soft breeze immediately enveloped my bare body and I felt like being embraced by the wind. And the wind never felt more reassuring. The sensation was nothing like fabric, not even of silk nor satin.
I met eyes of other nude people of all shapes, densities, and sizes. Those were beautiful revealing moments. Literally. And I think right in those moments lie the beauty of nudity among other people, mostly strangers. We are all reminded that there can be honesty, or a bit of it, in human bodies, still. And in looking straight into someone else's eyes while being bare, people meet with their guards down. No fight or flight. No fuzz. No threats.
Of course, there are moments of curiosity, of nervousness, of restraint. But the breeze quickly dissipates those tensions away. And one can breathe and feel the lightness that overwhelms.
I sought shade under a Mediterranean coniferous tree. The needle leaves made a great carpet on which I could lay down my mat. I read and rolled and napped for hours, I believe. Time was so irrelevant then. And woke up thinking why we had to wear clothes in the first place.
I reflected on the many layers of reasons, vanities, and politics of and wearing clothes. Of humans' desires and quests to distinguish him/herself from the rest of "savage nature", to express a certain idea/ ideology, to seek acceptance and affirmation from socio-economic classes, schools, churches, and cliques... and to attract a biological mate.
Clothes weigh so much sometimes. Like many of the strategies we employ and play in our political lives.
I am reminded of Bakunin's critique on ideas of "government of society from above downwards." He spoke of creating societies “not by the orders of any authority, even an elected one… but as the natural development of all the varied demands put forth by life itself.” I sense this is happening anyway in moments and pockets of nudity on beaches. http://anarchism.pageabode.com/anarcho/review-bakunins-statism-anarchy
And so I continue to relive that moment when I was happily bare and content. And when my value in this lifetime was not (even for a short moment in time) measured by my ethnicity, my class, my income, my name, but just by being there, breathing.
If only we can navigate the world like we navigate a sea full of urchins at night. When the red lit dot of an eye is all that we look at in times of uncertainty and darkness.